Hearings scheduled in Motorola, Liska battle

The drama continues to unfold between Motorola and its former CFO Paul Liska. Yesterday Judge Allen Goldberg of the Law Division of Cook County Circuit Court scheduled a series of hearings in the case. Both Motorola and Liska have filed motions asking the judge to compel the other side to hand over certain documents. Goldberg will rule on these motions July 31. In addition, Goldberg delayed a hearing on an earlier Motorola motion that wanted to sanction Liska for allegedly destroying evidence. That hearing will now be held in late September.

Liska was terminated for cause in February and subsequently filed suit against Motorola, claiming that he was fired because he questioned the accuracy of financial forecasts for the firm's mobile devices division. Motorola has said Liska filed his whistle-blower lawsuit as a way to cover up his poor performance. The company also said Liska made a "contrived presentation" to the company's board Jan. 28, in which he raised concerns about the handset unit, something Motorola said was done solely so that Liska could file a subsequent retaliatory lawsuit.

Liska said he was fired after a board meeting Jan. 29. When Motorola reported its fourth quarter earnings Feb. 3, it announced his dismissal. Motorola said in a proxy statement Feb. 19 that Liska was fired "for cause." One day later, Liska filed suit, claiming he had been fired as a retaliatory measure.

In other developments, Chicago headhunter Gregory Crecos, who worked with Motorola and Liska, appeared in court Wednesday and objected to a subpoena in the case. Judge Goldberg scheduled a hearing on that matter for Aug. 17. Crecos, founder of Gregory Michaels & Associates, told The Chicago Tribune that Motorola believes he tipped off Liska in December 2008 that Motorola was secretly searching for a new CFO. Crecos said he did not tell Liska about the search and did not breach professional confidentiality.

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